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Khupe told US ambassador Mugabe was crazy

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe told United States ambassador James McGhee less than a month after joining the inclusive government that they were dealing with a “crazy” man meaning President Robert Mugabe.

She said although there were challenges it was important to open schools, get health facilities working again and pay civil servants to demonstrate both to ZANU-PF and the voters, the MDC’s ability to get things done.

Khupe said that she, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara needed help to understand how to oversee ministries, how the government worked and assistance in enhancing their own individual capacity to govern.

She said that though she had the right to recommend that ministers be fired and replaced; both she and Mutambara lacked the management experience to help them oversee ministers and fire underperformers.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE168, AMBASSADOR CALLS ON DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER KHUPE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE168

2009-03-02 17:38

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

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RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2835

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5263

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1956

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000168

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/02/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR CALLS ON DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER KHUPE

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4(b) and (d).

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) In a cordial courtesy call in her freshly-painted

office, Ambassador McGee and Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani

Khupe discussed the immediate needs of the new government and

how the U.S. government can assist. DPM Khupe acknowledged

the serious challenges facing government and the forces

within ZANU-PF that are working against its success. She

also admitted that she, the Prime Minister, and Deputy Prime

Minister Arthur Mutambara all need assistance and guidance in

managing ministries and in such basic public relations issues

as speech development. Khupe expressed her appreciation for

the U.S. government’s humanitarian assistance and

specifically requested further assistance with capacity

building for government, technical assistance within

ministries, conflict resolution training for MDC and ZANU-PF

ministers and deputy ministers, and continued humanitarian

assistance. Ambassador McGee promised to investigate how the

USG can further help. END SUMMARY.

 

————————————

New Government Needs Deliverables…

———————————–

 

2. (C) Ambassador McGee called on the Deputy Prime Minister

in her freshly-painted and modestly-adorned new office,

housed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a frank and

friendly discussion, Khupe acknowledged the serious

challenges facing government, particularly health, education,

and lack of access to clean water. She expressed concern for

the humanitarian crisis and said the government needs help in

securing deliverable accomplishments to both help the

Zimbabwean people and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the

MDC in governance.

 

3. (C) Noting specific challenges including political

detainees, recent farm invasions, breakdown in the rule of

law, and lack of secure property rights, Khupe glanced at

Mugabe’s photo and indicated they were dealing with a “crazy”

man. She went on to admit that while some in ZANU-PF are

working to derail the new government, some are open minded

and have been shocked with the unity government’s

accomplishments to date. She told the Ambassador that

quickly delivering on opening schools and health facilities

and paying civil servants in foreign currency were vital to

demonstrating–both to ZANU-PF and to the voters–the MDC’s

ability to get things done.

 

—————–

…But Needs Help

—————–

 

4. (C) Khupe and the Ambassador specifically discussed

several gaps that the USG may be able to fill: technical

assistance to ministries, capacity building, conflict

resolution training, and continued humanitarian assistance.

Khupe understood USG limitations against funding salaries for

government officials and development assistance.

 

5. (C) In terms of technical assistance, Khupe said there

were only a handful of people in each ministry that

understand both how the ministry works and that have the

Qunderstand both how the ministry works and that have the

technical knowledge needed in each sector. She conceded that

some ZANU-PF ministers confessed they hadn’t been doing

anything. The Ambassador responded that while the USG

couldn’t provide salary assistance to civil servants, we

might be able to fund local experts to fill technical

knowledge gaps.

 

HARARE 00000168 002 OF 002

 

 

 

6. (C) Capacity building is another key gap. Khupe said that

she, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and fellow Deputy Prime

Minister Arthur Mutambara all needed help understanding how

to oversee ministries, how government works, and assistance

enhancing their own individual capacity to govern. Khupe is

responsible for overseeing ministries in the social cluster

(Education, Sport, Art and Culture; Higher and Tertiary

Education; Health and Child Welfare; Public Service; Youth,

Development, Indigenization and Empowerment; and Women’s

Affairs, Gender, and Community Development) and the rights

and interests cluster (Foreign Affairs; Justice and Legal

Affairs; Media, Information, and Publicity; and

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs). She said she had

the right to recommend that ministers be fired and replaced;

however, she and DPM Mutambara both lacked the management

experience to help them oversee ministers and fire

underperformers.

 

7. (C) Khupe also described conflict resolution training as

an urgent priority. Ministers and deputy ministers alike

would benefit from training that would enable them to work

more effectively together and to diffuse conflicts.

 

8. (C) Khupe acknowledged the U.S.’s lead role in providing

humanitarian assistance. She noted that she would be touring

hospitals and schools in the area later this week to better

familiarize herself with the reality on the ground.

 

9. (C) Ambassador McGee acknowledged these concerns and

promised to meet with Khupe again to identify specific areas

in which the USG can assist.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

10. (C) Our meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Khupe was a

breath of fresh air. Her ready acknowledgment that she and

other MDC officials are unsure how to govern reflects an

honest self-evaluation one rarely finds in the upper echelons

of government. She is fully committed to doing her best to

make this imperfect arrangement work and to ensure the MDC

remains a credible political party. However, the MDC can

only achieve success with help. Post will investigate means

to provide assistance to humanitarian efforts within the

boundaries of our legal obligations. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

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